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Situated on the corner of the hottest foodie strip in Pretoria, Alfie’s Italian Café has made an indisputable name for itself as the hallmark of Italian eating in the capital. The small unassuming restaurant probably seats a maximum of forty guests, making it an intimate setup where guests can clearly see and hear their food being freshly prepared. The founder, owner and chef Alfredo Fiachetti has passionately built what is now three successful restaurants that have impressed local diners in and out of the city. He is also the proud owner of Alfie’s Café and Iskia, the Italian influenced seafood restaurant. His contribution to Pretoria’s dining culture is one to marvel on.
As the chef-patron, Alfredo is constantly in the kitchen with his mother, inventing and experimenting with the incredible ingredients he has at his disposal. As with most traditional Italian food haunts, the menu at Alfie’s kicks off with a refreshingly small antipasti category. The onion flan is absolutely divine topped with a slather of warm pecorino cheese sauce (R68). Antipasto di mare is also a gorgeously simple starter, in the true casually sophisticated air of the Italian people, with boiled potatoes, steamed baby calamari, kalamata olives, crunchy savoury celery and fresh parsley (R75). There’s an array of crostini with fresh and flavourful toppings from R45 and most of them are vegetarian friendly. The gnocchi gorgonzola e noci is unforgettable, with golden brown, pillowy golden brown gnocchi tossed in a sharp but creamy gorgonzola with walnuts (R65), it is well worth the drive out, to be honest. One of their best loved (and possibly most Instagrammed) dishes is the 300g oven roasted, rosemary and garlic
marinated rib-eye steak (R135), served with a portion of veggies or your choice of salad, pomodoro pasta or butter and parmesan pasta. The pasta is a pretty obvious choice in an Italian eatery but certainly not a bad one, especially considering their tagliatelle alla salsiccia, or Itaian sausage tagliatelle, tossed through a hot pan with olive oil and fresh tomato (R95). The baked-to-order chocolate lava cake easily rivals most in the city and goes down a delectable treat with ice cold vanilla ice cream.
The drinks offering is good, as can be expected from Alfredo. Expect to find a wide range of popular local wines such as white blends from Kleine Zalze, Boschendal and Haute Cabriere well as regularly scheduled wine tastings and pairings in the evenings. Enquie with your waiter for more details or visit their page on Facebook at Alfie’s Pizzeria & Deli for up-to-the-minute updates of their next wine pairing feast.
The service is almost as good as the food here. The waiters are extremely helpful and go out of their way to ensure your visit is an unforgettable, positive one. The restaurant fills up easily, but the wait for a table is never too long although it’s always advisable to book ahead. The setting is muted and guests are made to feel comfortable upon arrival.
If you’re here for the ambience, you might be disappointed, especially if it’s not as busy as it usually is. The décor is muted and uninteresting, but for the hundreds of regulars who keep coming back week after week, this is no determining factor. Sit on the small, breezy sidewalk for a more refreshing (and possibly romantic) atmosphere.
Alfie’s is a great spot for a romantic dinner or somewhere to take the in-laws or that client you’re trying to butter up. The food here speaks for itself and the Alfie’s team have done a remarkable job bringing a piece of Italy to Pretoria. There is also a deli in the pizzeria where guests can take home some authentic Italian ingredients with which to cook their own masterpieces at home. This is a casual dining space, parking is free but limited and take-aways are available.
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